What a pleasure to the senses cycling this summer is, here in the Lake District. The late cool spring has delayed all the flowers and as a consequence the roadside verges have been a mass of blooms. The heady scent of Bluebells, bright blue and the sweet wafts from the Hawthorn hedges massed heavy with their snow-topped blooms.
Cow Parsley stand firm by the roadside waving their white heads as we cycle by. The sweet smells of the freshly cut grass slowly drying in the long sunny days, to make winter hay for the livestock.
So much to smell, so much to see as the cuckoo’s call heralds a real English summer. Now the yellow fields are scattered over the walled patchwork, as a token to the farmers toils. Gone are the tall verdant grasses, chopped for silage or bailed for hay, growing again for another day.
Meanwhile, my wife Margaret has taken me away for cycling in a new area, for a change. She was the guide as we cycled round the Trough of Bowland and The Fyld. Totally different countryside and yet so close to the Lake District. It was strange being guided, rather than being the guide. But it just goes to prove that local knowledge cannot be replaced by maps and ride plans!
I got some very bad news this month in that my Canadian cycling buddy Steve Edgar had died, suddenly. We have travelled many miles together both on skis and in the saddle and shared many, many unforgettable moments in Canada, England and Europe.